At 09:30 AM 7/28/00 -0400, Nancy wrote:
>I'm like Pamela --mostly interested in stuff within an hour's drive from St.
>Petersburg, but file away directions to other good birding spots.
>Nancy Ogden
>St. Petersburg, FL
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Before we get too far away from the subject, Nancy, don't think that just
because you live in St. Petersburg, or anywhere else, and the birds seem
quite ordinary to you, that there is not a whole world of people in the
State of Florida and especially beyond who think they are very exotic.  I
would hope that we could combine the reporting of Florida sightings on this
new list in such a way in the whole state that if people from Mars could
read the posts, there would be some idea of what kind of birds are in all
different areas.  Naturally, Lucy Duncan at Gulf Breeze on the Gulf near
the Alabama line, will see birds not seen on the southeastern coast of
Florida, and I am sure also some of the same ones.   I hope we  could
begin  by contributing something about the birds in each area.

Not long ago, in my home area, we found out something that was quite
startling to us.  A bird that is quite common here is considered much more
unusual, almost rare, 60-70 miles away in Tallahassee, to the extent that
this bird is at the least, considered notable -- the Gray Catbird.

Another instance not so common but very exasperating to me was the
continuing presence of Rusty Blackbirds south of Gainesville.   Did I go
once, twice, would you believe I went six times and never got to see those
birds?  A nemesis bird.  After two years of this, a pond being drained
about five miles from my very own home produced, you guessed it, 400+ Rusty
Blackbirds,some in beautiful partial molt.  C'est la vie!  But without
looking at that ordinary place, perhaps we would never have seen it.  At
first only one or two were seen, then more and more and unbelievable
hundreds!  A sight I will never forgot, I assure you.  Even more of a
coincidence was that we also found a Vermilion Flycatcher in our
neighborhood pond, such as there was one near the Rusty Blackbirds near the
Rusty Blackbirds south of Gainesville.  Do you think we will forget that?

My point is, never take your area for granted, the more familiar you are,
the more easily you can distinguish what is new and different.  One other
sight (well, two) we saw on a combination trip with our Tallahassee friends
was when we met at the phosphate mines south of Jasper, Florida, in
Hamilton County one rather cold day.  The unexpected.  A Red-throated Loon
(spotted by Gail Menk of Tallahassee) right in the middle of North Florida,
not far from I-75.  Also, another  sight to remember at that location,
another bird that was a piece right out of the brownish marble of
Michaelangeo, an immature Bald Eagle marking the curve of a dike by sitting
on a red clay mound.  We have seen many Bald Eagles looking regal in trees,
flying, but this big lump that turned out to be an eagle is the most
memorable of all, to me.

Our first time of finding Black-necked Stilts in this place, the first time
of finding Avocets, dowitchers, a Peregrine Falcon walking around in the
edge of the mud.  You can imagine.

This summer there presently are White Pelicans located at St. Marks NWR --
now, they are exciting to see.

There are no hard and fast rules I can give you about posting.  Set it up
as you feel inclined to.  Just try to utilize FLORIDABIRDS to the maximum,
and still keep up with your regional posts.

Before the announcement by Lyn, there were 115 subscribers in two weeks,
now there are about 150.  I would like you all to be subscribed to
FLORIDABIRDS-L wherever you may be and if there is a regional list for you,
that one as well.

For those birders that have been left out or on the fringes of the prior
lists, I hope you will post on this list,and I am particularly anxious to
have a center here at the University of Florida for the birders of this
area that extends all the way from Gainesville to GulfBreeze, Tallahassee,
St. George I., Jasper, Jacksonville, Titusville, and all points south,
including St. Pete and Tampa, Fort Myers, Miami, the Keys, and back up the
east coast, Hollywood, West Palm, Daytona, etc.  If I have missed your
particularly area, know I mean everyone to be included.

I will have short ADMIN posts when things warrant it, but listowning is
enough of a job for me.  Your duty is to regale me and each other with the
wonderful tales of Florida birds.

Thank you all,


Barbara Passmore
Valdosta GA
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